i managed to sleep a bit more than i have over this past weekend, where i woke up each morning to go watch some sort of costumed run. i grabbed my phone to check the news and saw that manafort had surrendered to federal authorities. i'd end up spending the rest of the day reading up what it all means.

i wasn't able to get a good look last night because it was dark, but it looks like the other top half of my neighbor's tree snap off, landing on the roof. this natural pruning actually balances out the tree and makes it look better, but i'm not sure how they're going to remove the tree branch unless they hire someone. in the meantime, my neighbor is not parking in his driveway for fear of the branch falling down and smashing his car. he was lucky once more that his car didn't get damaged last night.

i had a yogurt for lunch and two brownie cupcakes.

i have no more space left on my computer and needed to back up my photos in order to make more room. i haven't backed up since august apparently. it was photos from the past few months, about 130GB worth. i make two backups on separate drives, but it took more than an hour to back up onto the 8TB drive (i left the computer running in the living room), so i couldn't make the second backup.

while that was going on, i rigged up my android phone so i could shoot a time lapse video of the changing clouds out my window. though the rain had stopped, it was still very windy outside.

i did another water change on the aquarium. it's becoming ridiculous, it's impossible to keep the cyanobacteria under control, since they grow right back in less than 24 hours. i read some articles online, one advice said to turn off the aquarium lights for a few days to starve the bacteria from photosynthesizing. instead of completely leaving the tank in the dark, i turned on the blue LED night lights, which actually gives the neon tetras a beautiful glow. besides a water change, i also rinsed out the water filter and cleaned the filter material, including adding some new activated carbon, the good stuff (that my sister bought), not the carbon i got off of ebay a while back which i now believe weren't even actually activated, just simple carbon. i can tell because the activated carbon makes a crackling sound when wet, the non-activated carbon doesn't.

i fixed the other end of the leaking garden hose, adding a female mender. having done it once, it was easier the second time around. for some reason i couldn't close the clamp all the way shut, but it was already pretty tight, and when i opened the faucet, the hose no longer leaked.

i put the new registration sticker on my motorcycle license plate before riding off to belmont. i purposely stick it on with a slight offset so i can see the sticker beneath, creating a nice rainbow effect and something like the rings of a tree to tell the age of my motorcycle. according to the stickers, 2018 will be my 11th year with the honda shadow spirit. has it really been that long? but that's not really true, because i've only had the shadow since 2009 (8 years ago). the reason why there's more stickers than the number of years i've owned my current bike is because i kept the license plate when i upgraded my motorcycle, so a few of those stickers are from my honda rebel days.

my father was already home when i got to belmont. i let hailey out in the backyard while i took a quick inspection. my balloon flowers seem to be okay, although i could only find a few. some of them have stayed green, while others have turned yellow for the season. nothing's really growing in the raised beds except for a row of kale which are doing very well, and don't seem to be eaten by either aphids or cabbage white caterpillars.

i updated our baofeng radios with a new set of programmed memories including the national calling frequencies for 2m and 70cm. we also tested the small ground plane antenna (for 70cm) my father had made; performance-wise it seemed to be about the same as the stock antenna. there was a lot of chatter on the 70cm 460MHz calling frequency, but we couldn't receive any of it.

my father made a few simple dishes for dinner. my sister came back to pick up her dog and ate with us before leaving with hailey. i returned home soon afterwards. back in cambridge, i was stopped by the old lady across the street who once again reprimanded me for taking a whole parking spot when i parked my motorcycle. i explained to her the reason why i don't wedge into any old spot, not sure if she liked my answer, but we seemed to reach a tentative understanding; i also told her once winter comes i put my motorcycle away.

li wasn't home. yesterday he said he was going out with coworkers tonight, but when he finally came home i saw him making noodles in the kitchen and he said they didn't go after all. after he finished eating, i told him he was missing an important item for his camera: a memory card. i recommended some 64GB SDXC cards, left it up to him to decide which one he wanted.

some sad and shocking news this evening: the patriots traded backup quarterback jimmy garoppolo to the san francisco 49ers, who along with the cleveland browns are the only football teams this season who still haven't won a game yet (0-8). the browns are perennially bad, but i was surprised the 49ers haven't won yet, with their storied franchise and a new head coach (kyle shanahan). but jimmy would've never been able to play in new england, not with tom brady vowing to play forever. had he stayed, by the time brady finally retired, garoppolo wouldn't be in him prime either. going to another team - especially one that desperately needs a QB - will allow him to finally play. unfortunately, SF's offensive line is terrible and i'm worried jimmy will get hurt playing for a trash team, and won't be able to get a good contract next season. i understand the decision made by belichick, but i'm still a little sad to see garoppolo go. in bill we trust, in bill we trust!